“What other people think of you is none of your business.”
This quote couldn’t be more true, especially when it comes to seeking mental health counseling.
If you’re suffering from depression, anxiety, substance abuse, or other issues, you might also feel ashamed or embarrassed, like you should be able to “get it together” on your own.
While research shows that roughly 1 in 5 Americans suffers from mental illness, there’s still a stigma associated with getting help. You might feel like family, friends, and co-workers will think less of you if they knew what you were going through. Unfortunately this leads to denying your feelings, isolating yourself, delaying treatment, and ultimately suffering in silence.
You might also have a fear of being prescribed antidepressants or other psychiatric drugs that can cause weight gain, sexual dysfunction, and lethargy. However, many patients don’t experience these side effects, and for some, the trade-offs are necessary.
No one wants to be perceived as weak. But when you’re sick and you don’t get better, you go to the doctor, right? This should apply equally to physical health and mental health, both of which are integral to overall wellbeing.
There’s a national movement to de-stigmatize mental health disorders and seeking treatment for them. The U.S. military, the Veterans Administration, the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and many private organizations, including the NFL, are actively campaigning to bring these issues to the forefront. We’re starting to realize that mental health problems need not define a person, and that getting help is not just okay, it’s necessary.
You might realize that it’s you who’s created the stigma in the first place. Remember, there’s a good chance that the people in your life are more accepting than you think.
Feeling good about yourself and your life is not a privilege. It’s your right. And no one and nothing should stand in your way. Not even you.
If you’re interested in getting help, please give The Transition House a call. Our counseling centers in St. Cloud and Kissimmee are staffed with caring, trained professionals who can help you every step of the way.